Soccer team boosts conference record to 3-0

    SUN photo/Mike Pierce
    Pirate James Berndt gets a foot on the ball ahead of his Crested Butte counterpart in last Friday’s game against the Titans, which the Pirates won by a score of 1-0. The freshman had two shots on the day and has three goals on the season.

    By Randi Pierce

    Staff Writer

    The Pirate soccer team embarked on a winning streak over the last week, improving its record to 4-1, with a 3-0 record in conference play.

    En route to that record, 10 Pirates have made contact with the back of the net.

    First up on the week was a Friday matchup against Crested Butte on the Pirates’ home pitch.

    That game’s only goal came in the last 10 minutes of the second half, when Briar Erskine connected with a cross from Diego Gutierrez.

    “Our speed paid off in this match,” Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason wrote in a statement.

    On the day, the squad tallied 22 shots on goal, compared to 15 from Crested Butte.

    Senior keeper Quinn Smith recorded 15 saves, and his Titan counterpart notched 16 saves.

    “Quinn kept us in the CB game with a point blank save that was the play of the match,” wrote Kurt-Mason.

    The coach described the game as, “A hard fought, gritty to the end, battle between league rivals.”

    The next day, the team headed to Cortez to play the 4A Panthers, coming home with a 5-1 victory.

    The Pirates hopped to an early lead in the game, taking a 2-0 score into the half.

    Garrett Lyle Struck first in the game, followed by Gutierrez, who had 11 shots on the day.

    Taking the 2-0 lead into the second half, Cortez battled back with a goal, only to be matched by goals from Coltin Polczynski, Coleman Smith and James Berndt, who had eight shots in the match.

    The Pirates bested the Panthers in shots on the day, with 35 for the Pirates, compared to 21 for the Panthers.

    The Panthers’ keeper, though, recorded more saves, 26, than Quinn Smith, who recorded 22 saves, according to the score book.

    Kurt-Mason praised Gutierrez’s skill, speed and work on both sides of the ball (offensively and defensively).

    Then, Tuesday, the team hit the road again, this time to Alamosa for a conference match against the Mean Moose.

    The Pirates returned from that game with a 5-0 rout of the opponent.

    Polczynski struck first in the game, giving the Pirates the only goal of the first half, pushing through the Mean Moose defense.

    The Pirates took to the scoreboard again in the second half, adding four more goals before claiming the victory.

    The first of the goals in the second half came from the head of Matthew Bremman on an assist from Gutierrez in the form of a direct kick.

    The next goal came from the foot of Gutierrez, who then assisted Conner Bjork for the team’s fourth goal. In the play, a cross from Gutierrez to Berndt missed and Bjork, in support, finished the job from the far post.

    The next goal, again, came from Gutierrez on  what turned out to be a 60-yard pass from keeper Quinn Smith, who cleared the ball out of his goal box.

    Pagosa’s 20 shots on the day bested Alamosa, who notched 15. Quinn Smith’s 15 saves, too, bested Alamosa, who recorded 12 saves.

    Gutierrez’s two goals on the day lifted him to six on the season, leading the team. Polczynski follows with four goals on the season.

    Next up, the Pirates take on conference foe Bayfield in the team’s homecoming match Saturday at 11 a.m.

    Tuesday, the team heads to Durango for a match against the 4A Demons.